What is a Minecraft Snapshot?
Minecraft Snapshots are weekly released and unfinished versions of upcoming updates. The regular provision allows you to test new features at an early stage. If you find bugs, you can report them directly to Mojang and support development at the same time.
Play Minecraft as a beta version
Many developers release beta versions of their games to ensure compatibility with different systems and to track down and remove as many bugs as possible early on. Mojang goes a step further here and gives Minecraft players weekly updated insights into the current state of development. These test versions are called snapshots of the upcoming update until development is almost complete, and they are replaced by pre-releases of the update. Snapshots appear mostly on Wednesdays or Thursdays and can be accessed directly from the Minecraft launcher.
How to install snapshots
Minecraft Snapshots are only available in the Java version of the game. With this version, you can start current snapshots directly from the launcher. Go to the “Installations” tab and select “Snapshots” in the upper right corner. Now you should see several snapshots to choose from. The names are composed of the last two digits of the year, a lowercase “w” and the calendar week, supplemented by lowercase letters at the end if multiple snapshots are published. So, for the first snapshot of the 27th calendar week in 2021, that would be 21w27a. This way, it should be easy to find the current version and launch it directly. The installation on a G-Portal Minecraft server works similarly simple. Click here for the “Install Minecraft Snapshot” tutorial.
Due to the incompleteness of snapshots, unforeseen issues can quickly occur, so you should either back up your game world beforehand or simply use a test world. Otherwise, you might risk your save file.
How to report bugs
For curious and impatient players, the snapshots come in handy to shorten the waiting time until the next update. However, the purpose behind this is to find and fix bugs early. With this in mind, Mojang has set up an “Issue Tracker” where you can report all bugs and glitches from snapshots, pre-releases or even finished versions and thus support the development of the game. Make sure to choose the right edition of the game and to report each found bug individually.
Whether you want to satisfy your curiosity or contribute something, whether you want to relieve boredom or point your digital finger at bugs: Now you should know everything there is to know about Minecraft Snapshots. We wish you a lot of fun with all the updates that may come.